What Defines Writing Success? (& A Chance to Get Published)

In the writing community there are countless ways to measure success—completing a first draft, landing an agent, winning a writing competition, etc. So what does it mean to be a successful writer? Tell us and you may get a chance to get published. (Read on for details.)
Author:
Publish date:

Everyone defines success a little differently. Some define it as owning a giant house. Others define it as reaching a goal. In the writing community there are countless ways to measure success—completing a first draft, landing an agent, winning a writing competition, receiving that first royalty check, writing a hilarious tweet that gets retweeted several times, etc. So what does it mean to be a successful writer?

The Q

Personally I think writers struggle to define success because there's always another hill to climb. It's a "perk" of being a writer. Published your first book? You feel successful until no one bites on your second book. Had a column in a magazine? You're riding the high life until you're asked to write your farewell piece. But it's this lack of a clear definition of success that keeps us motivated and thirsty and driven to accomplish more.

The first time I ever experienced a taste of success was not after I started writing my Questions & Quandaries column in Writer's Digest, but when I received my first piece of fan mail. The note was kind and generous with compliments, but it was also the first time I ever felt appreciated for something I wrote (other than that time in sixth grade where I wrote that Mother's Day poem my Mom loved). That was a great feeling and one that gave me a sense of success.

So here’s my Q to you:Will you ever consider yourself successful as a writer? If so, when? If you had to pick a moment thus far in your writing career that you felt was your most successful moment, what would it be?

Post your answer below. In fact, if I get more than 50 responses I'll pick my favorite one and give that writer an opportunity to write a guest post for this blog about finding writing success. Help me get over that 50 mark by tweeting this or posting it to Facebook:

What Defines Writing Success? (& A Chance to Get Published With @WritersDigest) - http://bit.ly/QAAw8L

UPDATE: We've passed the 50 mark (and then some!) so I'm setting a date of October 22 for anyone who wants to to enter. After that deadline has passed, I'll pick a winner and announce it here on the blog.

************

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Enjoy funny parenting blogs? Then you’ll love: The Life Of Dad
Sign up for my free weekly eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

4 Keys for How to Interview in the Age of Zoom

4 Keys for How to Interview in the Age of Zoom

Now that anyone can be reached remotely, you might find yourself anxious about how to best conduct a videoconference interview. Here, author and host of "The Story King Podcast" Giancarlo Ghedini has some tips to guide you.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Shouldn't Do This

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Shouldn't Do This

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have one of your characters help someone when they know they shouldn't.

5 Things Writers Should Know About Flight Attendants

5 Things Writers Should Know About Flight Attendants

If you're thinking of including a flight attendant in your story, let author (and former flight attendant) Lacie Waldon give you some tips.

3 Rules for Writing a Better Dystopian Novel

3 Rules for Writing a Better Dystopian Novel

Science fiction author Marissa Levien discusses what makes a dystopian novel great—and what mistakes writers should avoid making in their work.

Shawn Nocher: On Letting Your Characters Lead

Shawn Nocher: On Letting Your Characters Lead

Author Shawn Nocher discusses how thinking deeply about her characters lead her to a breakthrough when crafting her debut novel A Hand to Hold in Deep Water.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 570

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a summer poem.

How I Sold the Cover of My Latest Book as an NFT and What I Learned

How I Sold the Cover of My Latest Book as an NFT and What I Learned

When faced with the difficult task of promoting his novel Catch 42: A novel about our future, writer Felix Holzapfel had a wild idea: Why not use non-fungible tokens?

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Author Bridget Morrissey explains the differences in her process for writing her first adult debut, Love Scenes, compared to her YA novels, what she wanted to explore in adult fiction, and more!